Argentina were up against Qatar in their deciding group fixture in the Copa America 2019. The Asian side did manage to keep Lionel Messi quiet but still ended up on the losing side. After the match, the Argentine skipper raised concerns about the quality of pitches being used in the competition.
Lionel Messi and Argentina will consider themselves lucky to still be in the running for the 2019 Copa America crown. The Albiceleste were left on the brink of elimination after a loss and a draw from their first two games. However, a win against Qatar, along with Paraguay’s loss to Colombia, sealed their safe passage to the quarter-finals.
The FC Barcelona star, nevertheless, has been left unimpressed by the quality of the pitches at this year’s competition. Speaking after Argentina’s win over Qatar, Messi had this to say:
“All of the pitches where we’ve played have been bad,” said Messi (via Marca).
“The ball bounces a lot and you need extra control to stop it.
“It’s hard to play like this.”
Meanwhile, Messi’s concerns were repeated by head coach Lionel Scaloni, who himself had raised issues with the playing surface earlier.
“People moaned at me for mentioning the pitches as if I was trying to make an excuse, but you can’t play on a pitch like this,” Scaloni said.
Despite that, Argentina managed to beat invitees and 2022 FIFA World Cup hosts Qatar in the deciding group match. They will now face Venezuela in the quarter-finals of the competition on June 28, 2019.